Quality of Secondary Education and Labour Market Requirement

Article excerpt

The value of human capital has never been so important than today, as we are living in a knowledge era where skills and education become quickly out of date. The education system as a whole has been a subject of continuous evaluation and reinforcement. The role of education and training in enhancing the chances of better quality of life, prosperity and peace is being appreciated worldwide. The secondary level of education in particular plays very critical role in shaping the human capital of a nation. Without compromising the goal of countries' commitment to provide secondary education on a mass basis available to all, there is a need to redefine the role of secondary education system to align it with the current needs of the economy and society at large. The secondary schools are required to churn out students who can face the changed economic scenario when they enter into; either higher education or explore the possibility of employment in job market. This paper evaluates the challenges faced by the secondary education system. It will also tries to find out the desirable structure, system and methods to impart better learning and generation of knowledge so that the need of the private sectors can be fulfilled. The present paper proposes a model based on McKinsey's 7 S to be adopted for enhancing the effectiveness of the secondary school program. It identifies the role played by different stakeholders in identifying the knowledge and skill gap. It proposes the evaluation of the existing structure of the secondary schools and prescribes the reinforcement of certain areas for desirable outcomes. It also talks about the sharing of information, pedagogy and experiences between parties to improve the quality and relevance of the secondary education.

INTRODUCTION

The economic, social and technological changes have become more intense than ever in the 21st century. These changes have forced nations worldwide to redefine and restructure their strategies for developing people's knowledge and competencies so that they can live and work meaningfully. The value of human capital has never been so important than today, as we are living in a knowledge era where skills and education become quickly out of date. The education system as a whole has been the subject of continuous evaluation and reinforcement.

The role of education and training in enhancing the chances of better quality of life, prosperity and peace is being appreciated worldwide. The secondary level of education in particular plays a very critical role in shaping the human capital of a nation. Without compromising the goal of countries' commitment to provide secondary education on a mass basis there is a need to redefine the role of the secondary education system in order to align it with the current needs of the economy and society at large. There is stronger need to evaluate the challenges faced by the secondary education system in the Sultanate of Oman. It is necessary to identify the desirable roles, which can be played by the different stakeholders.

SECONDARY EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT

Growth and development economists have placed great emphasis on the effect of education on the level of economic development. Barro (2001) identifies the rule of law, international openness, inflation, the fertility rate, the investment ratio and more importantly education as the variables determining economic growth and development. He is of the view that those countries that have better human capital absorb superior technology at a faster pace. Secondly, a country that starts with a high ratio of human to physical capital is likely to grow more rapidly by adjusting upwards the quantity of physical capital, which is easier to adjust than human capital. No one can deny that growth is positively related to both the quantity and quality of education (Moosa, 2002).

Oman has come a long way as far as education in the Sultanate is concerned. From 3 schools, 909 students and not more than 30 teachers in 1970. …